Former CEO and co-founder of Saxo Bank has shared his top 10 books to success with us. It's an intriguing list of books that takes you from philosophy, to the story of the world's largest fast-food chain, to how to build habit-forming product. We hope you find something you like!
2014 | Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets. The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself. Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique. Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
1995 | Ayn Rand
Two great novels that will change the way you look at the world. Atlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world--and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged stretches the boundaries further than any book you have ever read. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a man's body, but about the murder--and rebirth--of man's spirit. The Fountainhead has become an enduring piece of literature, more popular now than when published in 1943. On the surface, it is a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of those themes, along with the amazing stroke of Rand's writing, combine to give this book its enduring influence.
2013 | Nir Eyal
How do successful companies create products people can’t put down? Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior. Eyal provides readers with: • Practical insights to create user habits that stick. • Actionable steps for building products people love. • Fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App, and many other habit-forming products.
1902 | James Allen
The mind guides our footsteps as we progress along the pathway of life. Purity of mind leads inevitably to purity of life, to the precious love and understanding that should control our everyday acts and attitudes towards friends and foes. But where must one look for guidance? How does one achieve purity of mind that alone brings happiness and confidence? The author offers his clear answers in this book As A Man Thinketh. His words have helped millions for more than a century--and they continue to point the true way to a better life for a troubled humanity. "Out of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body," James Allen writes. "Out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a corrupt body." Too many mortals strive to improve only their wordly position--and too few seek spiritual betterment. Such is the problem James Allen faced in his own time. The ideas he found in his inner-most heart after great searching guided him as they will guide you.
1994 | Robert G. Hagstrom, Peter S. Lynch
"Simply the most important new stock book of the 1990s, to date. Buy it and read it." -Kenneth L. Fisher Forbes The runaway bestseller-updated with new material included for the first time! "The Warren Buffett Way outlines his career and presents examples of how his investment techniques and methods evolved and the important individuals in that process. It also details the key investment decisions that produced his unmatched record of performance." -from the Foreword by Peter S. Lynch Bestselling author, One Up on Wall Street and Beating the Street ." . . an extraordinarily useful account of the methods of an investor held by many to be the world's greatest." -The Wall Street Journal "Robert Hagstrom presents an in-depth examination of Warren Buffett's strategies, and the 'how and why' behind his selection of each of the major securities that have contributed to his remarkable record of success. His 'homespun' wisdom and philosophy are also part of this comprehensive, interesting, and readable book." -John C. Bogle Chairman, The Vanguard Group "It's first rate. Buffett gets a lot of attention for what he preaches, but nobody has described what he practices better than Hagstrom. Here is the lowdown on every major stock he ever bought and why he bought it. Fascinating. You could even try this at home." -John Rothchild Financial columnist Time magazine
1986 | John F. Love
Perfect for fans of The Founder, this is the real-life story of the world’s premier entrepreneurial success. The growth of McDonald’s worldwide continues to astonish. In tough financial times, McDonald’s proved that ingenuity, trial and error, and gut instinct were the keys to building a service business the entire world has come to admire. McDonald’s has been a trendsetter in advertising, focusing on different demographics as well as the physically disabled. McDonald’s created McJobs, a program that employs both mentally challenged adults and senior citizens. And because its franchisees have their fingers on the pulse of the marketplace, McDonald’s has evolved successfully with the health food revolution, launching dozens of new products and moving toward environmentally safe packaging and recyclable goods. Inspiring, informative, and filled with behind-the-scenes stories, this remarkable saga offers an irresistible look inside a great American business success.
1992 | Jack Welch, Suzy Welch
A champion manager of people, Jack Welch shares the hard-earned wisdom of a storied career in what will become the ultimate business bible With Winning, Jack Welch delivers a wide-ranging, in-depth, no-holds-barred management guidebook about the tough strategic, organizational, and personal challenges that face people at every stage of their careers. Loaded with candid personal anecdotes, hard-hitting advice, and invaluable dos and don’ts, Jack explains his theory of business, by laying out the four most important principles that form the foundation of his success. Chapters include: How to Get Promoted, How to Think about Strategy, How to Write a Budget that Works, How to Work for a Jerk, How Find Work-Life Balance and How Start Something New. Enlivened by quotes from business leaders that Welch interviewed especially for the book, it’s a tour de force that reflects Welch’s mastery of execution, excellence and leadership.
2011 | Eric Ries
Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on "validated learning," rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it's too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.